Rohan Bopanna eases into second round at French Open

Rohan Bopanna and Franko Skugor were untroubled in their first round encounter, which they won in straight sets.

By Rahul Venkat

India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor comfortably won their men’s doubles first-round match 6-4, 6-4 at the French Open 2021 in Paris on Tuesday.

They beat the German-Georgian duo Andre Begemann and Nikoloz Basilashvili in the opening round.

With Rohan Bopanna and Nikoloz Basilashvili up against each other, it was set to be a battle of big servers.

Both pairs held their serves remarkably across the first set, winning each of their service games without conceding a break point.

The opening set was tied at 4-4 after eight games, when Begemann-Basilashvili faltered slightly on serve in the ninth game and the Indo-Croatian duo pounced.

Bopanna-Skugor earned their first break point of the match and though they could not convert it then, they made no mistake two points later to move into a 5-4 lead.

There were no nerves from Bopanna-Skugor, as they comfortably served out to take the first set 6-4.

The second set was more nervy from Begemann-Basilashvili. After both pairs held serve in the first two games, the German-Georgian team could have been broken in the third game, but saved the break point and held on to take a 2-1 lead.

However, they could not do so two games later. After Bopanna-Skugor had made it 2-2, they attacked their opponents to earn as many as three break points before finally converting at the third time of asking to go up 3-2.

The score quickly became 4-2 and in the seventh game, Bopanna-Skugor converted their fourth break point to lead 5-2 and had a chance to serve for the match.

Instead, the Indo-Croatian pair were staring down at a 0-40 deficit in the eighth game before winning five points in a row to take the game and the match.

Rohan Bopanna and Franko Skugor will now face the winner between the American pair of Nicholas Monroe-Frances Tiafoe and the eighth-seeded Polish-Brazilian duo of Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the second round.